If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you’ve probably seen some posts from me where I’m jabbering on about Diet Dr Pepper. You’ve probably also wondered what the hell I’m talking about. Relax as all your questions will be answered forthwith.
A few weeks ago I was listening to a MotoIQ webcast, the subject being how to find partners to further your racing career. After the host spouted off some horrible statistic like “companies receive a billion sponsorship proposals a day,” I knew I had to do SOMETHING BIG if I wanted anyone to pay attention to me. After all, I’m just starting out and I don’t have a huge history behind me; just personality, drive, and creativity. (Oh, and I’m pretty cute too.)
What, I wondered, taking a sip of my ever-present Diet Dr Pepper, could I do to make a company pay attention to me? A company whose product I used? A company who needed me as much as I needed them? The sugar free deliciousness hit my tongue and shot directly to my brain. I could make a model of my car, using Diet Dr Pepper cans! Brilliant!
First of all, here’s a pic of our new 2/1600 car:
Even though I’ve been around air cooled Volkswagens for most of my life, I am still woefully under prepared to ever have to fix one out in the middle of the desert. I mean, I’ve been out there and watched guys replace a tie rod in a class 11, or adjust the jetting on our class 5 unlimited. I think the only two things I would trust myself to do in a pinch would be changing a tire and replacing a belt. And let me tell you, that ain’t right. I’ve got this new 2/1600 race car (see previous post) and I owe it to her and my team to build my skills.
I’ve looked at junior colleges and trade schools within commuting distance (read 100 miles) from DC and come up empty. There are plenty of places that teach automotive tech, but I haven’t found anything that focused specifically on air cooled VWs. So I started researching actual repair shops. I figured there has to be SOMEPLACE around DC that caters to, or least services old skool VWs. And finally, I found one. Metric Autohaus.
Can I tell you how long I have wanted to write that title? Yes, ladies and gents, the search is over. Mega Monkey Motorsports™ is now the proud owner of a 2 seater 1600 car!
How, you may ask, was I able to purchase a car in such economic times as these? Well, the other half of Hall Ass Racing, el padre, is kicking in, so in fact we each own half of the car and enclosed trailer it comes with. But basically:
Every penny made from Roadfly reviews since I started there in January of 2011 went into savings
I got a room mate in September and put that money directly into the race car fund
Over the summer I saved everything I made working at Shakespeare Santa Cruz
I institute a One Light On At a Time policy to keep my electric bills under $20/month
I gave up cable
I stopped eating lunch on MWF. I’m not really joking. I kind of did.
It wasn’t easy and of course I still have to continue to save. Flight travel alone is going to kill me, but now that the car is ours I can start getting my partnership packages out to companies who need my help to get the word out about their products! I even have a few tricks up my sleeve to get their attention!
I went to Colorado to see family for the holidays and had plans to drive up to Glenwood Springs to see Michele. Well, 18 inches of snow put the kibosh on that and by the time the roads were good I had family obligations I had to attend to. Ah, crap! Michele and I did get a chance to talk on the phone a few times, and the short story is that due to complications with Michele’s breast reconstruction, we have to postpone our bid for the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles in Morocco until 2013. I don’t want to go into it here because we are both bummed, but know that we will take this year to get tight with manufacturers, expand our social media network, and continue fundraising for breast cancer research. You can read Michele’s post about it at www.teamcouragegazelles.com and as always you can follow us on Twitter @couragegazelles and friend us at www.facebook.com/teamcouragegazelles.
I was reading an article today about a driver. I don’t even remember who it was about because I got mad as soon as I read the phrase “woman driver.”
I don’t necessarily object to playing the female card in relation to my driving. It’s an advantage I have as it makes me stand out. Playing up my female-ness also means that other drivers may underestimate me. There is nothing I like more than people having a preconceived notion and then blowing them out of the water. And anyway, I like being a girl. In many ways we have more options than men. I can go to my day job in a theatre and play with pretty clothes and make up, but then the next day I can don my race suit and get dirty and for the most part, society doesn’t really think twice. But you take a male racer and throw him into the world of theatre and dance costumes…yeah people are going to judge him. I could make a comment about how that indicates that women and the work we traditionally do, the clothes we traditionally wear, etc are still looked down upon as being less than valuable, but that’s a whole other Oprah.
What I really want to talk about is GRAMMAR! Though I taught English as a Second Language for a while, I do not profess to be your Grammar Homecoming Queen. However, if journalists are going to make a gender distinction when it comes to drivers I implore them…please, please, PLEASE do it correctly! If you go way back in the way back machine to your 5th grade English lesson, you’ll remember that an adjective describes a noun. For example, “loud exhaust,” “broken shock,” or “expensive engine.” The correct word to describe my gender is “female”. Setting aside the notion that “driver” doesn’t need to be qualified at all, I should be referred to as a “female driver,” not “woman driver.” “Woman” is a noun and it can not describe another noun. Similarly, my pal Tut Cote of Tut Tech Racing should be referred to as a “male driver,” not a “man driver” (but even saying that, don’t you feel kind of dorky?).
Look, I appreciate the differences between males and females. Why do you think I love a good Alpha male? I do my fair share of all girl racing, from MORE’s annual Powder Puff to raise money for breast cancer research to the Rallye Aicha des Gazelles, a 9 day rally through the deserts of Morocco with no GPS. And on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the greatest level of annoyance, I’m at a 5 at being written about as a “female driver.” It can be a bit exasperating, but it certainly does not inspire a DEFCON 1 alert.
Just don’t call me a “woman racer.” I’ll hit you with my grammar stick and the grammar stick leaves no dangling participles.